More Nassar-inspired bills headed to Michigan governor
By DAVID EGGERT
LANSING, Mich. — Michigan lawmakers on Tuesday advanced more bills inspired by the Larry Nassar sexual abuse case — voting to ease the prosecution of alleged abusers, stiffen child pornography penalties and let more people speak at sentencings under certain circumstances.
The legislation, which won unanimous Senate approval after clearing the House in June, will soon reach Gov. Rick Snyder for his expected signature.
Nearly 20 other bills remain pending, including at least one over which legislators are at odds — expanding who must report suspected child abuse to include paid coaches.
Under one measure moving toward Snyder’s desk in the lame-duck session, judges could admit evidence of a defendant’s prior commission of a sex assault. A similar option already exists in domestic violence prosecutions. Judges also would be given more flexibility to allow evidence of an assault committed more than 10 years before the charged offense.
Other bills given final passage Tuesday would allow stiffer prison terms for people convicted of child sexually abusive activity involving a prepubescent child, or if the material includes a video or more than 100 images. Senators also voted for legislation that would expand who can give a victim impact statement at a sentencing if the victim is dead, mentally incapacitated or consents to someone else being designated as a victim.
Those who could speak include family members of a victim.